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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Burrin Bridge


Burrin Bridge
Burrin Street Bridge c.1840

This brings us to Burrin Bridge, which one hundred years ago was a narrow stone structure only wide enough to admit the passage of one vehicle at a time. There was also a narrow footbridge for pedestrians. This bridge must have been a toll bridge as there were gates on it. It was replaced by an iron structure about 1860, which was later widened, and this remained there till 1932, when the present concrete bridge was built.

On the plot between the bridge and the public house at Pembroke Corner was a building which was used as an Office and Stores by the old Town Commission before the Town Hall was built. There is a story told that the Commission owed a small sum of money to a local blacksmith, and the money not being forthcoming, this worthy, finding the Commissioners in session, locked the door outside and refused to release the Civic Fathers until his demand was satisfied, I might remark in passing that the rate at that time was only one shilling to the pound.

Pembroke Road in those days was a tree-shaded walk having trees on both sides right down to the end. It was a private road and was kept in repair by one of the Haughtons who owned property there and other residents. It was only taken over as a public roadway in the nineties of the last century. The field at the end was known as the "Tobacco Meadows" as the fragrant weed was extensively grown there. Pembroke Road has now lost its sheltered seclusion, as it is the home of Mr .W. Kehoe's thriving business on one side and Messrs. Drummond's extensive nurseries at the other. So is Carlow advancing!

Source: "Carloviana" 1947 Vol 1. No. 1 submitted by Michael Purcell c.2008

Carlow County Council.

Reconstruction of Burren Street Bridge.

Clerk of Works.

A Clerk of Works is required to supervise the reconstruction in reinforced concrete of Barren Street Bridge in Carlow Urban District. Applicants must hold a University Degree or other equivalent technical qualification, and should have experience on reinforced concrete bridge construction, including setting out and measuring up.

The Appointment will be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.  Salary at rate of £5 per week: period about one month.

Applications, stating age, qualifications, past experience and accompanied by copies' of two recent testimonials are to be lodged with the undersigned not later than 1 p.m. on 22nd inst.

J. P. Punch,
County Surveyor
Courthouse. Carlow.
13th August 1932.
Source: Nationalist & Leinster Times, 20th. August 1932

Burren Street Bridge

According to PPP document there was a metal bridge erected at Burrin Street in 1863, it appears in photograph # 55 in "Carlow in old picture postcards".

In the Browne-Clayton papers there is record of Grand Jury funding set aside to build a new bridge in 1666 prior to that it is recorded the river was bridged by a timber bridge in 1550, it collapsed 1603 and was replaced by a new timber bridge -- on Horners Map (1703). The river Burren is mapped as forming a small lake around the Water Lane area embracing Goose Island (later Perry's Cash and Carry, Curran's Video shop area), -- in the Marlborough Clarke Douglas papers it is stated: "the land in this section of Burren Street – Water Lane was banked up (no year mentioned) and the Burren River straightened to form two river banks in close proximity to each other to accommodate a new bridge at the junction where the long span wooden bridge stood in medieval times".

In the Bunbury Papers we learn that Benjamin Bunbury is in 1772 informing the Grand Jury that "the recently restored bridge has sagged and has deteriorated to such an extent that it poses a danger to life and limb and is weak to heavy loads".

Edwin Boake also refers to the history of Burren Bridge in the 1947 issue of Carloviana (I loaned my copy out for a day three weeks ago and am awaiting its return yet!)

"Carlow in old picture postcards".

Plate 55: - In 1923 soldiers of the newly-established Free State Army marched across Burrin Bridge to take possession of the Old Union Workhouse on the Kilkenny Road. The move had aroused controversy, the old and infirm had to he moved to the former British military barracks in Barrack Street. The Free State commanding officer had stated that if the Union was still occupied he would remove all occupants, inmates and staff. Vacant possession was granted. The iron bridge was erected in 1863. It was replaced by a concrete bridge in 1932. The house in the background is the home of Dr. O'Meara. father of Carlow's most noted artist Frank O'Meara. The building with the pillars at the entrance is Deighton Hall. formerly the courthouse; it was donated by Joseph Deighton to St. Mary’s Church vestry. To the right we see a garage sign on the building which replaced Kellys Mill; this garage was later demolished to make way for a new road. Kennedy Avenue.

Source: Michael Purcell & "Carlow in old picture postcards"



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